Lost, In the Wilderness 3

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Here is a visual poem to start the New Year.  Welcome to 2016.

Lost, In the Wilderness 3

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No, Achilles – Table of Contents

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Some of you have asked me which poets are included in the No, Achilles anthology, so I am providing here a link to the full table of contents.  In addition, here is what has been said about the volume:

“No, Achilles reminds us of the brutal realities that are
the tragic commonplaces of our world. Perhaps we should
spend a day with it, a week, a month, a lifetime-until it
reminds us of that moral imperative we too frequently
forget: the suffering of others is our own.”
-Randall Watson, Poet/Editor, Blue Lynx Prize Winner

“No, Achilles should be read by every politician of ev-
ery country who thinks to wage war without considering
the consequences on human lives and culture, the future of the ‘children who lose their way.'”
=Mong-Len, Poet & Stegner Fellow, Stanford Universi

“It’s easy to forget that we live and travel over a globe
layered in histories of conflict and tenuous resolution.
The poems in No, Achilles do not forget this. They mourn
and praise, extol and sorrow through the aftermath and
happenstance of political aggression.”
-Conor Bracken. MFA. University of Houston

In addition, Carolyn Forché of Georgetown University has this to say about Against Agamemnon, the anthology that preceded No, Achilles:

The French Resistance poet Robert Desnos once wrote “for the earth is a camp lit by thousands of spiritual fires,” and he saw that in times such as his and our own “one bivouacs all over the world.” These poems are written by the light of those fires. We owe a debt of gratitude to James Adams for retrieving them from our present darkness.

Here is a link to the full Table of Contents.

No, Achilles can be purchased directly from Waterwood Press:

WaterWood Press
47 Waterwood
Huntsville, Texas 77320

Or contact the publisher at waterwoodpress@yahoo.com

Peace to all in the coming New Year.





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Here is the poem that is included in No, Achilles, the new anti-war anthology edited by James Adams:

on killing were the Kirkuk Disor
iented Nine on Tuesday Lt.-
ant Musab said the operation

is serious: while voters under
stand Iraq U.S. marines requi
re elections the insurgents the

Super Marines crash military
rocket force today a press repor
ter announced extended threats from on

ly a routine marine to a peo
ple disoriented only if
a middle violent going ov

er –said abilit
y –said day was were
to be killed ago


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No, Achilles

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I am sure that you, like I, am numbed by the carnage that hits the human stage on what seems, now, to be an almost daily basis. We are faced with the unhinged who have easy access to guns, a seemingly American phenomenon. (The statistic I heard yesterday was that the United States, with around 4 or 5% of the world population, own 40% of the world’s gun!). We have terrorists bombing Paris, Beirut, Cairo, etc. etc.  We lived through Columbine, Newtown and countless others. And now San Bernadino.  And, throughout it all, we mourn and moan and then life seems to go on, at least until the next tragedy hits.

I, as a Muslim, am doubly aggrieved, for in addition to the mourning, I have to endure the backlash created by the Trumpets who trumpet their way through a phony election, espousing yet more hatred, war and carnage. Tag them, they say, (should I suggest yellow?), round them up, put them in camps. Sound familiar?  Have we not learned from history? Do we not remember the Nazis or what we, ourselves, did to the Japanese-Americans during WW II?

Just in time to ease my affliction comes No, Achilles (Waterwood Press), which arrived on my desk yesterday. Edited by the award-winning, Pulitzer Prize nominee James Adams, this anthology is a collection of 64 international poets from every corner of the globe and is a sequel to the critically acclaimed Against Agamemnon: War Poems, 2009.

To quote:

No, Achilles reminds us of the brutal realities that are the tragic commonplace of our world. Perhaps we should spend a day with it, a week, a month, a lifetime – until it reminds us of that moral imperative we too frequently forget: the suffering of others is our own.” – Randall Watson, Poet/Editor, Blue Lynx Prize Winner.

Or this, from the introduction by Peter Anderson:

“The poetry here has no truck with war as a clearcut issue of good and evil. Poem after poem in this anthology breaks us open to seeing intensely, inwardly, the pity and terror involved in direct confrontation with war and its effects. The point is to make such seeing unforgettable – hence the necessity of poetry, for poetry is the form that language takes for that which is not to be forgotten.”

Yes, I have a poem in this anthology, but that’s not the point. The point is that unless we do something to stop the senseless carnage that has become a daily part of our lives, our own Achilles heel — the intolerance and hatred that festers unabated in our world – may lead to our very destruction. But then, all things considered, that may not be a bad thing after all.

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Halloween 1985 – A Reading of Edgar Allen Poe’s Ulalume

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This just surfaced: my reading of the Poe poem on Halloween.

Lhasa Club, Hollywood, CA

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Vivisectiion Mambo Makes Grace Cavalieri’s Exemplar List

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Grace Cavalieri has chosen The Vivisection Mambo, edited by Lolita Lark, as one of her poetry publication exemplars in her October 2015 list in the latest edition of The Washington Independent Review of Books.

In the short review, she calls the book “gorgeous” and “an eclectic inspired testimony to what Lark calls ‘gently ironic voices.'”

Proud to be part of it.

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Los Angeles Surrealist Alliance

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Back in the 80’s, I was a proud member (participant?  co-conspirator?) of the Los Angeles Surrealist Alliance. My tenure, so to speak, got cut short so i could go on my Middle Eastern adventure (a surrealist happening in it’s own right),but great, perhaps even greater, things happened during my disappearance.

Now Scott Lawrence Whitman, our sapient founder, has created a Facebook page where he is archiving material from that era.

Have a look and keep looking. You never know what you may find.

Your fifteen minutes are not up.

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Oranges From Palestine

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Here is the poem that appears in the new anthology, The Vivisection Mambo. This is the title poem from my chapbook which was released in 1996 and is available here.

Orange From Palestine

On the table
oranges from Palestine.

Your father offers me fresh goat’s milk.
If he only knew.

Your skin is as soft
as that prim white tablecloth.

On the wall, a verse from the Koran.
In your breathing, secret springtime lyrics.

Your mother looks kindly at this strange American man.
I wonder if she knows.

We cannot lie, cannot gaze here
but I can still taste your warm fragrance.

On the table, nestled in a brown bowl
plump oranges from Palestine.

Your sister smiles at me.
She knows.

We sit here like two blossoms
on separate banks of the Jordan River.

My eyes reach out for yours.
Your father offers me sweet honey cake.

Your brother practices English with me.
I dictate a letter only you will understand.

On the TV, young men die for their country.
Your lips inflate my soul with life.

Your father invites me back.
I return, commune with you in my dreams a thousand times.

On the table, across the room
the sweetest oranges my tongue has ever seen.
— ©2015 Mike Maggio


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The Vivisection Mambo

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The Vivisection Mambo, an anthology of poetry in what is being billed as the New Neo-Realist School, has just been released. Along with one of my most reprinted poems, “Oranges from Palestine,” the anthology includes poetry from such luminaries as Allen Ginsberg, Phillip Larkin, e e Cummings and Langston Hughes as well as such contemporary poets as Kate Gale and Erika Meitner.


Here is a review of the book from Kirkus Reviews.

I would also like to mention my recent review of Madeleine Mysko’s Stone Harbor Bound which appears in this month’s Midwest Book Review.

And, finally, I will be facilitating a poetry workshop on October 31st for the DC Poetry Project at the Shaw Library in Washington DC from 11-1.

Thanks and enjoy the fall foliage.

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Reading at Beyond Baroque

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Thanks to all who came out to hear me read from Garden of Rain and The Wizard and the White House.

Beyond Baroque, Venice, CA August 16, 2015

Beyond Baroque, Venice, CA August 16, 2015

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